a feature of the sound system of a language that serves as the crucial distinguishing mark between two phonemes, as the distinctive feature of voicing, which distinguishes b from p in English, or nasality, which distinguishes m from b and p.
any of a set of phonetic properties, as coronal, nasal, or strident, serving as a basic unit of phonological analysis by which the sounds that are significant in a language can be characterized and distinguished from one another.
a component or phonetic feature characterizing a phoneme.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use distinctive feature in a sentence
When the researchers examined the specimens’ teeth and jaws, they found distinctive features suggesting they were looking at three previously unrecognized species.Meet the cat-sized mammals that thrived after the dinosaurs died | Claire Maldarelli | August 18, 2021 | Popular-Science
After six “generations,” or episodes of transmission, the rhythms produced by participants showed distinctive features depending on these constraints.What Misspellings Reveal About Cultural Evolution - Facts So Romantic | Helena Miton | July 30, 2021 | Nautilus
Its distinctive feature is an extra-long back zipper that runs all the way to the base of the spine, which founder Abigail Lorick says was designed to make it easy to take the suit on and off, especially for women with wider hips.There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Sustainable Wetsuit | wtaylor | July 23, 2021 | Outside Online
The most distinctive feature of the vaccine trials was their speed.Clinical trials are better, faster, cheaper with big data | MIT Technology Review Insights | June 10, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
The shark’s most distinctive feature is the long curving fins that swoop out from its sides.An ancient shark’s weird fins helped it glide like a manta ray | Carolyn Gramling | March 18, 2021 | Science News
Each is surrounded by a gelatinous capsule, which is its distinctive feature (Fig. 9).A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Club life is, as might be supposed, a distinctive feature, and the Jockey Club (entrance 300) is a triumph of luxury.Argentina | W. A. Hirst
The distinctive feature in securing permanency seems to have been the intent to secure it.Invention | Bradley A. Fiske
The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of Communism.Communism and Christianism | William Montgomery Brown
Nothing was marked, the boots were odd ones and of a prehistoric age; there was no distinctive feature about any of the things.Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels | Mrs. Charles Bryce